Better Lens for Beseler Cadet II?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by danac, Sep 24, 2021.

  1. Is it possible to change this lens for a better one? Is it a 39mm mount?
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
  2. AJG


    I would be surprised if it isn't a 39 mm mount, that has been standard for a long time. You should certainly be able to change the lens to a different one.
  3. The bellows are attached to the lensboard so it must unscrew without a jam nut but an 800 pound gorilla tightened it.
    Trying to force it off might make a mess of things.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
  4. I agree, a fixed lensboard is probably threaded. If you can't remove the lensboard, how can you put a locking nut behind it?

    I don't know who you bought it from, but if possible, I would take the enlarger back, to have THEM remove the lens, and deal with any damage.
    - I mean you can use a channel lock plier on the lens, but that will very likely marr or damage the lens.
    - Or try to use a strap wrench or similar on the lens, but you got to be careful to not crush the lens.
    And if you put that kind of force on the lens, you have to be careful to not torque damage the enlarger head.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
  5. I'll just leave it as is. I have printed dozens of fine sharp photos with it over the last three years. It is a four element lens made in Japan. If I get in the mood to spend more money the brand new Beseler Printmaker 67 will get the nesessary parts to do 35mm.
  6. There's an exploded diagram of the Beseler Cadet II that shows no separate, detachable lens board. It also specifies the lens as 50mm f/3.5. So maybe the lens is 'permanently' affixed?
    That would be an unusual arrangement, but not unheard of. My first Agiscope enlarger had a plastic focussing Helix with a cheap lens moulded into it. Bought out of pocket money - and replaced as soon as I could afford something better.
  7. Have a look at this e*ay listing. Beseler 50mm Cadet II Enlarger with Baseboard Model 3502 No Lens | eBay The seller posted a pix of the lens mounting area showing the retaining ring. Once you remove the lamphouse and crank the lens stage all the way up you should be able to access the ring on your lens. The Beslar lens is an entry level quality lens, ok for 5x7's and maybe uncropped 8x10's once you stop down to f/8 or 11. There are much better lenses for not much money. Nikon 50mm f/4, Rodenstock Omegaron, Schneider Companor, BUT the best lenses are just a few dollars more, Nikon 50mm f/2.8, Rodenstock Rodagons, Schneider Componons, the newer the better. Fuji also makes excellent enlarging lenses, I just don't know the specific names of their line. Most enlarging lens makers have an entry level line and a professional line, always go for the pro line.

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